Looks like a New Macro Trend to Me

This Boston Globe article addressing the Senior Living challenges today is something that we boomers should be keeping an eye on. Not sure if this is mostly specific to MA, but I don’t think so.

Hundreds of older folks, many with disabilities, are being uprooted from long-term care homes across Massachusetts this fall in the wake of a brutal pandemic that claimed the lives of nearly 6,900 senior care residents and destabilized an already fragile sector.

Five nursing homes have notified state regulators they plan to close by the end of the year, citing rising costs, empty beds, inadequate funding, and acute staff shortages. Four other nursing facilities shut down earlier in the year, while another 10 are part of a family-owned chain, Royal Health Group based in Pembroke, that’s up for sale.

At the same time, five assisted living centers — where residents dwell independently but receive personal care services in a less clinical environment — have either gone out of business recently or are in the process of doing so. Four of them served a mostly low-income population and were supported primarily by public funds.

Happy that we can still live in our home!!


I think you are correct. Here’s what an industry publication is saying.

It also seems like the industry may have been built on low wages.

I wonder how many other businesses based on a low wage business model are going to suffer the same problem.


You have put your finger on a significant Macro trend that will affect millions of people in the future, many of them sick, elderly, disabled and without a support structure to protect them. The ones who are most helpless are also most vulnerable since they have no personal resources. (Medicaid rules require assets < $2,000.)

The cost of paying caregivers is high and rising. Given the difficulty of the job, many agree that pay should rise but Medicaid is taxpayer-supported so there will be reluctance to increase spending.

Like you, I’m happy that we can still live in our home. Our small ranch house is senior-friendly and we have long-term care insurance that will pay for caregivers in the home when the time comes.

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As Power of attorney for my folks, I am dealing with both a nursing home and in home full time care. Mom is finally in a nursing home and doing better than she was at home, while my dad is at home with a full time caregiver as he doesnt want to leave the house.

There are labor issues with both of these options (they are in Denver). Rising costs and shortage of qualified people, and some options closing down (there are two options in denver for in home care - non-nursing level and nursing level, with the latter much more expensive. EDIT: I do not mean that there are only two companies, there are a number of companies though that number fluctuates and different companies cover different areas of Denver). Over the last couple of years it is getting harder and harder for the company to find good caregivers, and costs keep going up. My dad was fortunate and his stocks appreciated quite well (until the last 8 months), so we are on private pay for both options, but it isnt cheap. I need to look into insurance for my wife and I.

I do grow concerned over how this will play out as we age.



Given our aging population rising costs for labor for serving the older citizenry is to be expected.

This is another area where immigration reform could make a difference.


And automation. I think one of the areas that are being targeted by android/humanoid type robots is home assistance. Not that I have a lot of hope it will succeed, but people are trying here. But I’m also one who has nearly lost all hope on full self driving as well.

Automation for senior care poses some challenges. Help with medications or communications with nurse is easiest. But most need assistance with dressing, bathing, mobility (in and out of bed, wheel chair), getting to the bathroom, and prevention from falling.

Robots may help with some of this but I see much still to be developed…

Which is where the real demand for low-cost, low-skill workers would be most effective–at multiple levels. Both home care and a variety of group facilities would absorb a large number of these people and be able to put them to productive use. We’ve been through this same process multiple times over the past several centuries and the only thing that changes is who is calling the latest batch of migrants names and trying to prevent their migration.


It is very easy to tell someone else they are low skilled when they are not. For instance childcare, underpaid and a lot of people saying of the male persuasion that is unskilled. Healthcare on the lowest level is very responsible tiring work. It is not low skilled until some does not want to pay.

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What is the solution to the low income for health care, child care and senior aids? These are issues that impact our economy because they keep people at home who could otherwise have a better job and be more productive.

Part of this is sex discrimination. These are traditional women’s jobs and the compensation trend follows that difference.

Better pay might get better results for all involved but how do we make that happen? Govt subsidies? Tax deductions? What will be most effective?

Most agricultural workers are relatively unskilled in the US economy. People with real skills, usable in the US economy, will mostly be legal immigrants–so they do not need to come to the US illegally.

There are different ways to “pay” for something. For example: The US “pays” non-citizens to join the US military. After five years of service, they also earn US citizenship. A similar type of system could be created to bring in and legitimately employ those who ordinarily might not be able to obtain legal entrance into, and employment within, the US.

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The quotas do not allow in all that many semi skilled or skilled people.

There were several different outcries. One of them computer workers taking less money than Americans for the citizens’ jobs.

You moved the goal post to fieldworkers. Nice save :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: